So, as no doubt every learner of Māori has noticed, there’s the curious correspondance between kōrua – meaning you (2 people) – and rua – meaning two. Is this a coincidence or is it actually part of the meaning of the word? ahuamohio commented that they have a theory that the tou in koutou is actually toru – three – which has been shortened over time. In which case the idea I have come up with for koe is that it the e is the same e that you use in phrases like e hoa or e te rangatira.
So, perhaps, back in the distant past, the 3 words/phrases for “you” were:
Ko would not be used quite like this now-a-days, but since it is a particle used to indicate that you are talking about something specifically, it does kind of fit.
Does anyone know of any other etymological theories for these words?